China lab plans deep-sea research with manned submersible in S China Sea

Updated 2017-04-05 09:00:29 Global Times

A Chinese lab has announced that it will conduct research with a manned deep-sea submersible in the South China Sea, a national first.

The Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (QNLM) said at a conference Saturday that Jiaolong, China's first manned deep-sea submersible, will be used for research in the region from April 1, news portal chinanews.com reported Tuesday.

Jiaolong will study the environment at five points in the ocean ranging from depths of 2,500 meters to 4,000 meters in South China Sea after sailing from Sanya, South China's Hainan Province on April 9.

This expedition will form part of the QNLM's “Aoshan” series of projects which seek to use advanced technology to conduct undersea research.

“It is significant that Jiaolong's first deep-sea scientific research will be conducted in the South China Sea,” Pan Kehou, the secretary-general of QNLM, was quoted as saying by chinanews.com.

“This is part of a joint plan and the samples we collect will be shared,” Pan added.

“Jiaolong will probe a comprehensive range of subjects including geology, biology and the ecosystem,” Yang Gang, senior engineer from the First Institute of Oceanography, was quoted as saying.

Jiaolong, produced by the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation in 2002, set a national record in June 2012 by reaching a depth of 7,062 meters in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. It was deployed in 2014 in the Indian Ocean for its first voyage.

Plans to build China's first long-term national underwater observation platform in the South China Sea to observe conditions in real time have also recently been announced, involving Shanghai's Tongji University and the Institute of Acoustics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, news portal sciencenet.cn reported on February 26.

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